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Direct payments

What is a Direct Payment (DP)?

Having a direct payment means that some, or all, of your personal budget from SCC or Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust is paid directly to you.

Your personal budget is the money that we have worked out is available for you to have to spend on your care and support. The person who is helping you to arrange your care services will tell you how much this is.

You can get a direct payment if you are a carer and are able to have a personal budget. Find out more about Carers’ assessments.

You can also get a one-off direct payment for certain items of equipment to help you live independently at home.

Updated June 2016

How you can use a direct payment

You can use this money to pay for goods and services that help you to meet the outcomes that you have agreed in your support plan.

Some examples of how you might do this are:

  • buying a care service that you can use in your home from an agency. There is more information about care services available in Suffolk

  • employing someone to help you

  • paying to attend a day care service

  • paying for leisure activities

  • buying equipment to help you

You cannot use your direct payment to pay for:

  • permanent care in a residential or nursing care home

  • normal household expenses such as utility bills, rent or mortgage payments or food

  • anything that is illegal

  • anything that does not contribute to the outcomes that you have agreed in your support plan

You cannot normally use your direct payment to pay a member of your family who you live with, for care that they give you. However from April 2015 you can use some of your direct payment to pay them for support that they give you to help you to manage your direct payment.

If there is a special reason why you might need to pay a member of your family who you live with for care that they give you for short period of time, or for an exceptional reason, you should discuss this with the person from SCC who is helping you to arrange you to arrange your personal budget.

How to arrange a direct payment

When you decide that you would like a direct payment we will ask you to sign an agreement and to give us details of the account that you would like us to pay the money into. 

It is important that you understand the agreement that you are being asked to sign.

Direct payment application and  terms and conditions - SAMPLE (PDF, 49KB)  

The person from SCC or NSFT who is helping you to arrange your care should explain these in more detail to you.

Contact Customer First  if you have any questions, this is normally quicker via web chat. Click chat with us in the right hand corner of your screen.

Help to manage your direct payment

There are many advantages of being able to have choice and control when the money is paid to you for you to arrange care and support yourself. Some people worry about taking a direct payment because of the responsibilities that come with it, for example, employing your own staff, managing the money and telling the Council how you have spent it.

However, there are a number of organisations who can help by providing information, advice and guidance relating to employing your own Personal Assistant(s), and can provide payroll and account management services for you.

Find out about services and organisations that can help you (PDF, 198KB)

Direct Payment FAQs

Direct payments frequently asked questions (PDF, 503KB )

Using your direct payment to employ somebody to help you or employ a personal assistant frequently asked questions (PDF, 205KB)

Last update March 2017

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